A different kind of pandemic
What we know
Picking your battles
Be humble, personal and didactic
Vaccines are not natural
What is natural, anyway?
Ove 200 years of vaccination
COVID-19 vaccines don’t fully protect us from the virus
Numbers speak for themselves
High infection, low mortality
'There can be glitches'
Vaccine side effects
Blood clots
Caught them early
'Extremely rare'
My body, my choice?
No man is an island
A civic matter
Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
(1/18)
A different kind of pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic and the worldwide initiative to fight the virus have led to long debates about science and vaccination. However, another phenomenon has spread along with Covid-19. One that is called 'misinformation'.

Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
(2/18)
What we know

To fight back the wave of fear and misinformation that has dominated the online conversation about the virus since the beginning, here are some debate points about what we do know and how to disprove some common lies.

Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
(3/18)
Picking your battles

However, before jumping into the argument, the BBC recommends that you pick your battles. Is the person you're about to engage with open to changing their ideas?

Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
(4/18)
Be humble, personal and didactic

The BBC also recommends being humble when talking with someone who has doubts about vaccines; highlight the individual advantages over a more abstract, general picture and pinpoint the methods used to spread misinformation and how to refute them.

Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
(5/18)
Vaccines are not natural

One of the most common arguments against vaccines, in general, is that they aren’t natural and that people have been fighting disease without any help for thousands of years.

Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
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What is natural, anyway?

Things like pasteurized milk or selective breeding aren't “natural” either, but they have helped humanity to live longer and better lives.

Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
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Ove 200 years of vaccination

Vaccines have existed for over 200 years, and it has helped us to reduce infant mortality and overall raise life expectancy. If we have never heard of illnesses such as scarlet fever or cowpox, it's thanks to vaccines.

Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
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COVID-19 vaccines don’t fully protect us from the virus

Described by The Washington Post as “the most pernicious anti-vaccine talking point,” people who oppose inoculation point out that none of the Covid-19 vaccines fully protect people from getting infected or infecting others with the virus.

Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
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Numbers speak for themselves

Epidemiologist Antoine Flahault told France24 in September 2021 that the numbers speak for themselves when it comes to the results of the vaccine.

Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
(10/18)
High infection, low mortality

Flahault highlights that in countries with high vaccination numbers, Covid-related deaths remain low despite peaks of infection. In contrast, places with less vaccinated populations show much higher mortality rates.

Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
(11/18)
'There can be glitches'

“Of course, there can be glitches and a few vaccinated people might still contract the virus. There are even some who might experience serious complications and die,” warns Flahault. Here he can be seen talking in a press conference, along with France's Health Minister Xavier Bertrand.

Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
(12/18)
Vaccine side effects

Then comes the question of side effects and vaccine safety. Pharmaceuticals and laboratories work day and night at a neck-breaking pace… Surely they can’t be safe compared to others developed in less strenuous circumstances, right?

Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
(13/18)
Blood clots

Cases where blood clots were linked to vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson were reported in March 2021. This fueled more concerns about side effects. However, these were pretty rare and measures specific to individuals with certain vulnerabilities.

Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
(14/18)
Caught them early

“The most serious vaccine side effects in history have all been caught within six weeks,” declared Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the Vaccine Advisory Committee of the US Food and Drug Administration, to CNN. Immediate measures were taken to identify individuals that were vulnerable to blood clots due to age and health conditions.

Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
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'Extremely rare'

Offit (pictured in the middle) pointed out that any side effects are negligible compared to the widely-reaching immunity provided by the vaccines. “Sometimes you're not going to pick it up initially because it's extremely rare, so you aren't going to pick up a one-in-a-million risk in a trial of 44,000 people.”

Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
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My body, my choice?

Another usual talking point is not science-based, but ethics-based. It claims that the government should not force vaccination on the entire population since it’s an invasion of personal freedom.

Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
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No man is an island

Doctor Salvador Macip, a lecturer from the Open University of Catalonia in Spain, counters this opinion by arguing that it’s a community issue, not an individual matter.

Talking Points to debate with Anti-Vaxxers
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A civic matter

“Getting vaccinated affects society and those around us, so it is partly a civic matter,” states Macip in a guideline posted on the university website.

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